Fair readers, thou knowest best this tale of which I am 'bout to speak. Fair Juliet and her poor Romeo, blighted by the idiocy of youth, did cause trouble for all, and trouble for naught.
They knew not what they did, for these two loved before they thought. But hark!
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O well-seeming forms and mis-shapen chaos! Entertain, if you will, a twist on this sad tale. For imagine, like this author did, if Capulet, and Montague as well, were transported unto the Carpathian Mount', where Capulets were all undead alike, and Montagues were hunters of their kind. I would not bide the encounter of Romeo, nor Juliet, tho' many love them troth. Methinks the two are asses. I' faith, I am bound altho', to impress upon you the improvements, in this story, to their characters made. Ne'er have I felt more fondness for these blighted lovers than whilst upon this telling I partook.
It is, perchance, mine own discrimination against this account which limits its affects upon my heart. Apart from Luhrman's visual narration, the telling of Juliet meets Romeo hast not given rise in me to swoon. If dispute me you may, in general about this tale, then this book for certain will beat in your breast. Forsooth, I just don't get it. This author's prose spoke prettily and yet, when reading Romeo and Juliet my heart and mind want William's tongue.
Reviews - Been There, Read That!
Gabel staid true to Shakespeare's feel, yet modernized its speech. For this the youth may take delight, but I, for one, missed wondering what the fuck he was on about. Gabel has made accessible, what I pleasure in uncovering, layer by layer, phrase by phrase. The ending is the thing. Also, people did not speak back then as modern teens speak now. Romeo did not use words like "douche bag" and Mercutio did not use words like "dill-weed.
Not that the dialogue has to be all thee, thou, thy, and wherefore, but there's a way to blend the two. Historical fiction is popular among teens, so it's not like people can't get into a slightly more formal language style. And you can modernize a historical story without destroying its authenticity. Quite a bit of modernizing in that, but the language was old-style in a lot of it, and yet it was still popular! So what was the point of having it in the first place?
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I'm sorry, but this author's insertion of pathetic and improperly applied modern slang feels like condescension to the reader to me, as if she thinks we're too uneducated to understand what the characters are saying unless she brings it down to basically a preschool level. I rarely get offended by a book, but the badly done language bugged the heck out of me. I'm okay with that. I love vampires. But the vamps in this book are more ridonculous and campy than even the 's Dracula with Bela Lugosi and the rubber bat.
The effect is muted in Juliet, because she's not a full vampire yet, but you see it in Lady Capulet. First of all, Lady C has crimson eyes. By itself, I could take it. But she's also got a prominent widow's peak, dark hair, fangs that don't retract, and she's so pale that she's sallow.
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She's like, tallow-colored. She's jaundiced-looking. Also, she dresses like Elvira or Morticia Addams in the clingy dress with the tendrils on the hems, including a little cape that serves no purpose except to look vampy and doesn't even fall all the way to her feet. Add onto that the way she enters and leaves the room during the scene where in the play Juliet's mom is like, "Speak briefly: can you like of Paris's love?
Why is she floating? I have NO idea. And she never really stops. It's said that Juliet will start floating too after she becomes a full-fledged vampire. So basically Claudia Gabel grabbed every schticky, icky, vampy stereotype from those campy movies made in the ss and smushed them all together. Maybe she meant it to be funny, like a parody or something…but it wasn't. It wasn't satirical, it wasn't parody-funny, it wasn't funny in any way.
Romeo & Juliet & Vampires
It was ridiculous. It's like if one of those caricature sketch-artists off the street looked at Lady Capulet and she said, "Draw me as one of the fiendish undead! I love all the different variations found in literature. And they were all so much better than this. That's just sad. So basically she's given a choice by the author to either give up everyone she loves - her parents, her other family - as well as the life she's known all this time in order to do what's right and not murder an innocent person it never occurs to her to go after a rapist or a killer …or she kills someone and becomes evil.
Now, if this book wasn't so hokey, this plotline would be perfect. It would be fine. It would totally work. But you can't take a serious plotline like this, one fraught with emotional introspection and seriously tough choices, and then be like, "And now let's add some crack-acid to liven things up even though it makes people wanna say, 'Go home, book. You're drunk. You can't take a plotline this serious, this potentially dynamic, this potentially beautiful, and slather it with all the stupidity heaped up in the first chapter.
And if that's the author's way of being like, "Ha, you must wade through the crud to get to the good stuff," well then shame on her, because that's not how it works, since someone had to shell out money for that book to be available in this case the library, or whoever donated the book. I doubt it was, actually, but I like to cover my bases. Whatever her reason - she just didn't know any better, she didn't care, whatever - I couldn't finish this book. So, I'm sorry but this book is 0 stars from me. The only thing I've ever read that was worse than this was a fanfic the infamous "My Immortal" about Harry Potter.
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